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UK Politics - Caesar: Most senators didn’t stab me, so all good!


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4 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Kay Burley made a fool of herself trying to get him to ‘admit’ the picket would use violence against workers crossing it. Then had the cheek to post on twitter that he wasthe flustered one.

Crikey. I don't think I've ever seen Burley looking so deranged. And that's saying something. The only thing missing was flecks of foam around her gob. 

And yeah, Lynch has been brilliant this week. He's humiliated every single Tory he's been pitted against. Outstanding work. 

Edited by Spockydog
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"As the prices of food and energy soar to record levels, Conservatives can point to causes outside their control: the pandemic’s global disruption, lockdowns in China, Russia’s war in Ukraine. But they cannot explain why, in this time of global crisis, Britain is afflicted with particular severity. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Britain’s economy won’t grow at all next year — a bleak forecast shared only, among major economies, with Russia."

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/22/opinion/boris-johnson-britain-elections.html

Quote

 

It Feels Like Boris Johnson’s Britain Is Finally ‘Sinking Giggling Into the Sea’ By Samuel Earle. Mr. Earle is a British journalist who writes about politics and culture.

LONDON — For Boris Johnson, Britain’s embattled and scandal-ridden prime minister, nowhere is safe.

On Thursday, that may become inescapably clear. Two local elections — one in a traditional Tory area in South Devon that the party has controlled almost continuously since 1885, the other in a postindustrial seat in North England that the Tories took from Labour for the first time in 90 years in 2019 — will deliver a decisive assessment of Mr. Johnson’s flailing popularity. As things stand, the Conservatives are set to lose both.

Mr. Johnson’s ability to win over such disparate people and places — affluent farmers and neglected manufacturers, the shires in the South and old Labour heartlands in the North — once ensured his position at the top of the Conservative Party. Yet now, as Britain hovers on the brink of economic recession, the constituencies that previously united around the prime minister appear to be rejecting him. For Mr. Johnson, his authority frayed by a recent no confidence vote, a double defeat would leave his tenure hanging by a thread.

But the Conservatives’ problems are much bigger than the prime minister. After 12 years in office, under three different leaders, the Conservatives have collectively set the stage for Britain’s woes. The balance sheet is dire: Wages haven’t risen in real terms since 2010, austerity has hollowed out local communities, and regional inequality has deepened. Britain’s protracted departure from the European Union, pursued by the Conservatives without a clear plan, has only made matters worse.

For this litany of failures, the Conservatives seem to be finally paying the price. After four successive electoral victories, each one with a larger share of the vote, the party has trailed in the polls all year. Thursday’s elections are likely to be yet another indicator of the public’s growing disenchantment, one that bodes badly for the party’s chances in the next election, due by the start of 2025. Unable to address the country’s deep-seated problems and devoid of direction, the Conservatives are in trouble — whether led by Mr. Johnson or not.

As the prices of food and energy soar to record levels, Conservatives can point to causes outside their control: the pandemic’s global disruption, lockdowns in China, Russia’s war in Ukraine. But they cannot explain why, in this time of global crisis, Britain is afflicted with particular severity. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Britain’s economy won’t grow at all next year — a bleak forecast shared only, among major economies, with Russia.

That should concern the Conservatives, whose dismal economic record is visible everywhere, from rising levels of poverty to chronically underfunded public services. In the National Health Service, to which Conservatives love to pronounce their loyalty, wages for health care workers have fallen in real terms, and an estimated 110,000 positions lie vacant. As the waiting list for medical attention hits an all-time high, ever more Britons are going private: The average amount now spent by households on health care, as a percentage of G.D.P., is nearing levels in America. For a country so proud of its public health care, it’s an especially painful development.

For Conservatives, the chaos of Mr. Johnson’s prime ministership offers another appealing alibi. Having first ridden on the back of Mr. Johnson’s unruliness, Conservatives now claim that it is impeding their ability to address the serious problems facing the country. They often complain that they just want to “get back to governing.” But the truth is that Conservatives gave up on governing long ago — a fact that accounts both for Britain’s current mess and Mr. Johnson’s appeal in the first place.

Indeed, while Mr. Johnson’s own desperation to become party leader was always an open secret, his eventual rise to the top relied on his Conservative colleagues’ desperation as well. By 2019, after almost a decade in power and with little positive to show for it, there was a pressing need to plot a new national course. In a rut and out of ideas, Conservatives turned instead to a known peddler of feel-good fantasies. Mr. Johnson offered Conservatives an escape — from Europe, seriousness and self-doubt. What he lacked in sense of direction he made up for with his boundless optimism and sense of humor. Punch lines could take the place of policy, raising spirits if not wages.

Mr. Johnson’s boosterism, giddily amplified by his cheerleaders in the right-wing press, worked for a while. During the push to leave the European Union, and even during the devastatingly mishandled pandemic, Mr. Johnson could play the role of mascot, rallying the nation for the task ahead. But now in the wreckage of that double disruption, each one exacerbated by Mr. Johnson’s incompetence, the Conservative leader has lost his charm. His jokes, amid an escalating cost-of-living crisis, fall flat. And having finally “got Brexit done,” as his winning campaign slogan promised, Mr. Johnson struggles to pin blame for the nation’s troubles on the European Union. Fed up with broken promises and brazen deceit, voters are turning against him.

But Conservatives can avoid their own reckoning for only so long. First through austerity, then through Brexit and Mr. Johnson, the Conservatives have left Britain in the ruins of their ambition. Each one of their proposed solutions, offered in the name of national renewal, has made the situation worse. No one in the party can escape blame for this baleful legacy. One of the pretenders to Mr. Johnson’s throne — Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss or Jeremy Hunt — may offer a change in style. But a substantial change of course is unlikely to come. An economy predicated on low productivity and low investment, buttressed by a self-defeating lack of seriousness about Britain’s condition, is all the Conservatives seem to be able to offer.

In the 1960s, an English satirist named Peter Cook warned that Britain was in danger of “sinking giggling into the sea.” Today, the feeling is pervasive. Over 12 years, the Conservatives have unmoored Britain from its foundations and perpetuated a failed economic model, accelerating the nation’s descent into disorder. For the most part, Conservatives have cheered the country on its way. On Thursday, Britain will at least learn if the tide is finally turning.

 

 

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Re: the Lynch/Morgan clip, I'm unimpressed. If you go to the circus you will inevitably encounter a clown. To change metaphors for a moment, the saying about wrestling a pig comes to mind.

What's he even doing going on that show? If you want to talk to Piers' audience, you can get the same impact from taking all five of them down the pub.

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3 hours ago, mormont said:

 

What's he even doing going on that show? If you want to talk to Piers' audience, you can get the same impact from taking all five of them down the pub.

The people who run these shitty right wing 'news' channels don't care about viewing figures. They were created in order to get useful idiots like Laurence Fox and Nigel Farage to come on and talk some shite to provide content for the outrage machine. 

Now, as a result of going on Piers Morgan's show, Lynch has turned the tables on them. And instead of letting Talk TV create a bunch of infuriating, anti-union, lib-owning bollocks to be smeared all over social media, Lynch has made Morgan look like an utter bellend, and, in the process, likely cemented further support for his striking workers.

Edited by Spockydog
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9 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Mick Lynch has done well against a hostile press this week. He must really be wondering at the state of the British press.

Kay Burley made a fool of herself trying to get him to ‘admit’ the picket would use violence against workers crossing it. Then had the cheek to post on twitter that he wasthe flustered one.

She might as well have gone “so what type of deadly acid are you going to throw on the people trying to get past your picket line?”

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13 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Mick Lynch has done well against a hostile press this week. He must really be wondering at the state of the British press.

Kay Burley made a fool of herself trying to get him to ‘admit’ the picket would use violence against workers crossing it. Then had the cheek to post on twitter that he wasthe flustered one.

The UK commentator (didn't catch the name) who speaks to our mid-morning programme on our national public radio station once a week painted Lynch in a "far left extremist" ideological light, and said the RMT isn't just about better pay and conditions, but also anti innovations that would make the public transport system more efficient.

The other thing he talked about was that the UK govt and Bank of England are both saying that workers shouldn't be asking for pay rises to cope with inflation because that will just cause more inflation. He admitted it's a hard message to sell to ordinary people, and it's mostly bollocks anyway given this current flavour of inflation is not being mainly caused by wage pressure or consumer demand, it's being caused by global supply shocks of various causes. Perhaps the wage increases to close out this inflation cycle need to kick in over 3-5 years so as not to create a sudden, large increase in wages, but there should be a well communicated plan for how to bring wages up, starting now, to help cope with cost of living increases.

From the perspective at this end of the world, it was good to hear a Brit, probably conservative or at least right of centre, talk about all the global influences on inflation that are outside the control of any national govt to control. The political narrative here, as usual, is to blame the govt for past sins and for inaction. It is important for people to understand that most of the inflation we're seeing is outside the control of national governments, though not all of it is outside their control. Inflation was going to happen no matter who was in power.

Edited by The Anti-Targ
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7 hours ago, Spockydog said:

 Now, as a result of going on Piers Morgan's show, Lynch has turned the tables on them. And instead of letting Talk TV create a bunch of infuriating, anti-union, lib-owning bollocks to be smeared all over social media, Lynch has made Morgan look like an utter bellend, and, in the process, likely cemented further support for his striking workers.

You don't need to go on Morgan's show to make him look like an utter bellend, you just have to look at anything he ever says, does, or writes.

Anyway, Dominic Raab is very excited that he finally gets to present his Bill of Rights, the only Bill of Rights ever published that actually makes it harder to claim your rights.

A lot of very dangerous stuff in there. The most dangerous part is the apparent belief underlying several of the measures that human rights are something you have to earn and something that people not born in the UK should not have equal access to. Fundamentally, these are beliefs that are incompatible with the very concept of human rights. But Dom doesn't care, because he'll go down in history as the man who created the right to jury trial (the bill does not create any new right to jury trial).

https://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/20227983.dominic-raab-unveils-replacement-human-rights-act/

https://www.libertyhumanrights.org.uk/issue/explainer-libertys-guide-to-the-governments-plan-to-overhaul-the-human-rights-act-2/

 

 

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On 6/19/2022 at 1:33 PM, mormont said:

Yeah, but this is the preferred Tory approach to any problem: try to pin it on the Opposition. That's why, however much we might prefer to hear that Labour will do this or that about Brexit or NI or immigration, it's necessary for Labour to avoid giving answers - not because it has none but because any answer at all will be seized on by the government who will seek to make the subject, as they have above, why Labour can't be trusted on subject X. Y or Z. It's preferable to being held to account, something this government (as noted) wants to avoid at all costs.

If the main/sole reason for supporting labour is just hating the tories—who are deserving of it for their hate for their country ngl—that seems a very shaky foundation for support even if labor gets in power.

The tories will always get support from a certain segment of the population due to them(tories);starting meaningless culture wars.

 

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7 minutes ago, Raja said:

I thought by elections had no exit polls?

Byelection turnout and total numbers of votes are usually so low that getting a reliable sample size is quite difficult.

It may also be fairly useless, as the margins in Honiton are so tight as to be almost nonexistent (if it swings, it will be the biggest majority ever overturned in a byelection, apparently). Wakefield could be much bigger, as the Tories' majority was okay but not massive and Labour need a much more modest swing to recapture it.

Apparently the Tories are projecting holding Honiton with a massively reduced majority. The LibDems have said it's a "big ask" but they think they can just scrape it if Labour and Green supporters have switched to tactical voting almost completely. Wakefield is much more doable for Labour, especially with LibDem tactical voting for Labour.

19 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

The UK commentator (didn't catch the name) who speaks to our mid-morning programme on our national public radio station once a week painted Lynch in a "far left extremist" ideological light, and said the RMT isn't just about better pay and conditions, but also anti innovations that would make the public transport system more efficient.

This is horseshit. One of the main problems is that the TOCs (Train Operating Companies) don't want to invest too much money in the franchises unless they can get a lot more back out, or unless they can get longer and longer contracts. A perennial problem with the system has been that if there's a five-year contract, then the TOC will basically only fully fund it for three years (sometimes two) and then not invest anything after that point because what's the point when they might not get the contract renewed again? One phrase that cropped up was that they didn't want to invest in new trains, new technology and new ideas if a rival was going to snap up the franchise (with all its improvements) afterwards. If anything, this has gotten worse since the government has said it's now happy to step in and take over a franchise even mid-term if the TOC fucks up, as the TOCs now think they could lose their investment at any time so why even bother?

One of the really big fights a few years ago was over how many staff there are on trains, and the unions being firm they needed at least three people (not including buffet car staff) to ensure safety and mean that someone can always go and check out an issue in one of the carriages who isn't the driver. But at one point they were being pushed hard to literally just have the driver as the only staffmember on the train, which the unions regarded as massively unsafe and drivers pointblank refused to accept that, as it meant if they saw someone being assaulted on the train, they'd either have to ignore it to reach the next station or stop the train in the middle of nowhere to intervene (possibly in a dangerous situation if they were outnumbered etc).

The sheer lack of common sense in how to manage the railway system has been quite, quite mindboggling over the years.

Edited by Werthead
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